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June 2018

• AFED at the 4th Arab Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency forum, Kuwait, 6-7 May

AFED participated in the 4th Arab Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Forum, held in Kuwait last month. It recommended the development of cohesive programs to integrate Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs) and the Arab Strategy for Sustainable Energy into national strategies. "The world we know is changing," said Najib Saab, AFED secretary general, highlighting the drive in many Arab countries towards diversifying the economy, and the mega plans for renewable energy.


• Arab Civil Society Meeting on Sustainable Development, Cairo, 11 June

A group of Arab civil society organizations attended a meeting hosted by the League of Arab States (LAS) in Cairo, to agree on non-governmental input to the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The HLPF, to be held at the UN headquarters in New York in July, will discuss progress towards the implementation of six out of the 17 SDGs. AFED presented recommendations to the meeting, based on its annual reports which covered the topics discussed. Those included sustainable energy, nexus approach to energy-water-food in relation to climate change, sustainable cities, consumption patterns, land management and combating desertification. The recommendations were included in a final statement submitted to LAS as civil society contribution to the HLPF in New York.


Sustainable Arab Energy, Beirut, 20 June

AFED participated in a roundtable hosted by ESCWA on "What Role Fossil Fuel Holds in Achieving Sustainable Energy in the Arab Region?" The topic was introduced by two leading Arab experts on Energy, Dr. Luay J. Al-Khatteeb and Dr. Walid Khadduri. The panel addressed the geo-political, socio-economic and institutional challenges of the energy sector and the role that fossil fuels plays in achieving sustainable development in the region, along with other emerging sources such as renewables in order to attain an optimal energy mix. There was a consensus that as the world is moving toward de-carbonized economies, there is a short window of opportunity left for fossil fuels, which might not exceed 30-40 years. Arab oil producers should use this period to invest the oil income efficiently in diversifying the economy in general and the energy sector in particular.


AFED at ESCWA's 30th Ministerial Session, Beirut, 25 June

AFED participated as observer in the 30th Ministerial Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) that convened in Beirut under the theme, ‘Technology for Sustainable Development in the Arab Region'. The biennial meeting comprised two segments: the senior officials segment (25-26 June), and the ministerial segment (27-28 June). The meeting served as a platform to discuss critical actions required from governments, the private sector and civil society in Arab countries in response to emerging technologies. The goal is to maximize the benefits for sustainable development and lower risks of abuse and possible negative impact, working with governments in the Arab region.

Three moderated roundtables generated discussions with policymakers, civil society leaders, as well as representatives from the private sector, academia and youth on: integrating technology and innovation into national development planning; the role of technology in tackling the challenges of the Arab region; and frontier technologies: opportunities, challenges and the way forward. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss with government delegates contents of the forthcoming AFED report and conference, scheduled for November. Tunisia was elected as Chair of the 30th session, replacing Qatar. The session ended with a declaration which renewed commitments towards achieving development goals in the Arab region.

Dr. Adnan Shihabeldin, Director General of Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) and member of AFED Board of Trustees, was panelist in a high-level session on Emerging Technologies.


• AZM University joins AFED, June

AZM University joined AFED as institutional member - academic category. The university is intimately associated with AFED programs and its President, Professor Farid Chaaban, is a frequent contributor to the annual report, and participated as speaker and delegate in the annual conferences. Students from AZM University joined other peers from regional educational institutions in the Future Environment Leaders Forum (FELF) sessions where Arab youth expressed their concerns about the environment.


• AFED Annual Conference, Beirut, 8-9 November

Work on AFED report and conference on Financing Sustainable Development in Arab Countries is proceeding as scheduled. Many renowned speakers and leading organizations are taking part, including the World Bank, OECD, EBRD, OFID, ISDB, KFAS, Kuwait Fund, ESCWA and FAO, among others. The latest confirmed speakers are Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior VP of the World Bank, Tessa Terpstra, Regional Envoy of the Netherlands on Energy and Water, Patrick Moulette, Head of Anti-Corruption Division at OECD and Rami Ahmad, Special Envoy on SDGs and Senior Adviser to the President of Islamic Development Bank. You can view the updated provisional agenda and list of speakers here:


• Green entrepreneur financing at AFED 11th conference

SwitchMed and AFED are again collaborating on organizing a session under the theme "Access to Finance for Green Economy Entrepreneurs". The session will be part of AFED annual conference "Financing Sustainable Development in Arab Countries" which will convene on 8-9 November in Beirut. The session will share the outcomes of the mappings of financial instruments for Green Economy entrepreneurs. The third edition of SwitchMed Connect will be held in Barcelona on 13-15 November 2018. The partnership between AFED and SwitchMed started in 2015. -



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